Shimla’s summer fest triggers surge in tourist arrival

June 3rd, 2009 - 4:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, June 3 (IANS) The summer festival of dance and music in the Himachal Pradesh capital has triggered a surge in tourist arrivals in the state, hospitality industry representatives said Wednesday.
“The fest has evoked a good response as is evident from the surge of tourists to witness the five-day annual International Summer Festival,” Harnam Kukreja, president of Shimla Hoteliers and Restaurants Association, told IANS.

The summer fest began Tuesday and will conclude Saturday. Noted Bollywood playback singers Suresh Wadekar and Kunal Ganjawala will be the main attraction during the festival.

Punjabi singer Jasbir Jassi and playback singer Mahalaxmi Iyer are also expected to perform during the festival.

The Himachal Pradesh tourism department is expecting an increase of 25 to 30 percent in the arrival of domestic and foreign tourists during the festival.

“In monetary terms, this tourist town is hoping to bag an additional revenue of approximately Rs.25 to Rs.30 lakh due to an increase in the inflow of tourists during the festival,” Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp (HPTDC) general manager Yogesh Behl said.

The inaugural day saw about 20,000 tourists arriving in the “Queen of Hills” - as Shimla is popularly known.

“The occupancy is 100 percent in most of our hotels,” said Behl.

The town has more than 450 hotels, restaurants and guest houses.

Private hotelier Sishupal Thapa said: “The tourism department should organise more such activities during the lean tourist season too.”

According to tourism industry representatives, now every weekend Shimla is getting 40,000 to 50,000 tourists on an average.

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